Less than a week after Steve Jobs' death, word is out that Sony Pictures has completed a deal to bring to the big screen the upcoming authorized Jobs biography by Walter Issacson.
Book-to-movie biopics tend to make bank and have the potential to score critical prestige, as Sony knows well – after all, the studio made “The Social Network” and this fall’s “Moneyball,” both of which were impressive box office earners and critical darlings. There’s no doubt that given the wealth of momentous events and accomplishments in Steve Jobs’ life, a biographic movie promises to be amazing.
The question that immediately comes to mind, then, is: Who should play the Apple genius? After some deliberation, I’ve come up with a shortlist of five. I’m expecting that the movie will focus much more on the latter half of Jobs' life, chronicling his experiences at Apple, so no young’uns in our list here, only veterans that I think are OS X compatible!
From playing a fabulous gay fashion assistant in “The Devil Wears Prada” to a creepy, you’ll-have-nightmares-about-him killer in “The Lovely Bones,” Tucci has built a great career based on his ability to disappear into any role he takes on. The man radiates down-to-earth intelligence, and together with his trademark glasses and bald head, he's a perfect pick for Jobs.
I promise, we’re not just listing every one of Hollywood’s over-40 actors with balding silver pates, but I had to include William Hurt, especially after his portrayal of another real life figure, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, in this past spring’s “Too Big to Fail.” Hurt projected a soothing presence in that role, but one could also see the fire and resolve behind those eyes. I imagine that he could bring the same qualities to the role of Steve Jobs.
Anyone who’s seen the criminally underrated “A Serious Man” will recognize Stuhlbarg's incredible performance of a neurotic Jewish professor facing an existential crisis. Indeed, Stuhlbarg has demonstrated that he can handle pathos very well. He has a very likeable presence and will also be able to do humor just as well – I’m already imagining Stuhlbarg's reactions as Jobs when he gets fired from Apple in the '80s.
Woah. I must be on something, you’re thinking. But think about it, Hollywood is notorious for glamorizing real life by casting demi-god looking actors in biographic roles. So if Sony Pictures has to go this way, then the suave Keanu, with his long mane that is perfect for the pre-hair loss Jobs era, is perfect. Keanu is as reclusive as Jobs was, and has a Zen-like quality to him that is similar to Jobs in his latter years. And just like Jobs is a cult-like figure to Apple fanboys, so is Sad Keanu to the interwebz.
Tried-and-tested is an adage Hollywood sticks to more often than not, so perhaps former “ER” star Noah Wyle then? The actor portrayed Jobs in a 1999 TV movie, “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” which chronicled the founding of Apple. Wyle's earnestness no doubt plays well when it comes to acting as technology innovators who have genuine excitement about what they do. Also, with the help of a bit of good makeup, the eternally boyish actor will also be able to do double time as both a young and older Jobs.
What do you think of our choices for Steve Jobs? Who do you think should play him? Tell us what you think in the comments section and on Twitter!